It's September and that means it's time to start thinking about the Hollow!
Okay, in truth, we've been thinking about it for a month now. That's what we do. We start planning in August, flush out the ideas and start in September.
So, what will we be doing?
It's funny, because when I list it out it seems a little, well, meh. Why? Because in the end, it will look as though we only added a couple new things. But, in truth, we are going to be very busy this year.
- Completely automate our existing pneumatic props (Coffin Guy, Vampire in a Box and Andersan the Tombstone Breaker). What do I mean by "completely automate"? Last year, I ran all the air lines to solenoids mounted on the bridge that were manually triggered by our support staff. The problem with this plan was that as the night went on, and our support staff became more and more intoxicated, the triggering of the props became less and less. What can I say? You can't get good, sober support staffers anymore. So, this year, I am buying PicoBoo prop controllers and each prop will be automated! Now all staffers can feel free to drink as much as they please, which they were pretty much doing already anyway so carry on staffers! Carry on!
- Build a new pneumatic prop! Were calling him a Ground Breaker. Not sure if that completely qualifies, but that's the name we're going with. He will be a corpse who has dug his way out of the ground and is pulling himself up, but with difficulty. I wish I was using an original design but after a lot of research I couldn't think of a better way to do it then this gentleman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46RycwjIvs8. It's just so violent in its movement and I love it! Of course, this new prop will be automated as well.
- New Column Toppers. Yes, we had a problem with our newly constructed pumpkin column toppers last year. The rain (it rained the entire month of October last year) completely destroyed them. So, Lynn is making new, water proof toppers. They will be a creepy, decaying arms holding a lantern. I have pictures I will show you later. They're going to be brilliant!
- We're going to build a new, old gate. This may take some explaining. Have you ever been to a really old cemetery? If you have, then you probably noticed a really old, run down road with a very cool looking gate that is chained up and out of order. When you ask about it, they tell you that used to be the entrance a hundred years ago, before the expansion of the cemetery back in the early 1900's. Well, back in the early 2000's, the Hollow was much smaller and only covered a few square feet of space. People walked up the main walk to get their candy and exited using the same path. So, we're going to honor our past by building a grand ole gate and placing it on the old cemetery path. We haven't started it yet, but I will of course have pictures later.
- All original tombstones. That's right, no more store bought tombstones. And, since Hollinger Hollow is a family cemetery, the tombstones are going to have family names. Of course, we won't use actual full names (or at least we will do our best to avoid that) because that may be a little too creepy, but they will have genuine surnames. There will also be a couple joke tombstones, with people from works of fiction. You know, just to be silly.
- Fix the tree! Yes, the tree we worked so hard on last year succumbed to it's own weight and is falling over on itself. Having never done a tree like that before, we used a skeleton of PVC pipe and chicken wire. In the end, the weight of all the foam was too much for the skeleton to support. Looking back on it, I would have done so many things different, but we spent so much time and money on the tree that scrapping it would be a terrible waste. So, I have no idea how, but I'm going to fix the tree.
And there you go. We have a lot of work ahead of us and in the end its only gonna look like we added a couple new things. Still, as long as the weather permits, we will get everything lit properly, something that was not done last year due to all the rain, and added to the fact Halloween is on a Friday this year, we should have a fantastic Hollow!
More to follow!